Are the HR responses of small firms different from large firms in times of recession?

Yanqing Lai, George Saridakis, Robert Blackburn, Stewart Johnstone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

114 Citations (Scopus)


This paper uses British large scale survey data to examine the extent to which the recent financial crisis has affected firms' operational activity, and whether or not the existence of human resource (HR) practices have influenced firms' response to recession and workers' job experience. Our findings suggest that SMEs are more vulnerable during times of economic hardship than larger firms, but those with HR practices have shown more resilience to the downturn. Also, we find that having HR practices increases the likelihood of the firm to adopt organisational measures although the response to recession differs significantly between smaller and larger firms. Finally the results indicate differences in workers' job experience during the recession which is moderated by high and low levels of management formality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-131
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Business Venturing
Issue number1
Early online date25 Jun 2015
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2016


  • HRM
  • recession
  • SMEs


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